Excerpts About Courage
Spacecruiser Inquiry, p. 110, 257, 281 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 202 • discuss »
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 231 • discuss »
Pearl Beyond Price, p. 62 • discuss »
The Unfolding Now, p. 70 • discuss »
True states of realization occur when you throw away all the teachings. All of the teachings, absolutely. Everything. Then you are investigation itself finding out what you are. You realize that many people have said many things along the way. Somebody said you are an eternal soul, you have to be saved, and you have to believe in Christ. Somebody else said you just need to realize that there is no self. Another person said the true self is the Brahman. Somebody talked about God. And if you really believe that those people are not lying, you start wondering what they’re talking about. Who is right? You need intense sincerity and ruthless courage to discover the truth for yourself. “This person says this and that person says that. I believe that they mean what they say, but how can I say one of them is right and one of them is wrong? And who knows what they mean by what they say anyway?” That is one of the things I discovered when I realized the state of no-self. The state was different from what I thought. I realized that many people go around talking about Buddhist no-self, and they haven’t got the vaguest idea of what it means. What they think is no-self is not what Buddha talked about. When Buddha said there is no self, he also meant there is no table and no house. He didn’t mean that you walk around without a self, but that everything is conceptual. The self is ultimately a concept. This thing or that thing is a concept. But people don’t think that way. They read about no-self and think that after sitting around for a while they will be this person sitting in lotus position with no self. There isn’t anything like that. No-self means you realize that you are not sitting in that lotus position. So we don’t really know what those people meant. At some point you have to achieve an independence of mind, which is the state of aloneness. You have to know intrinsic aloneness, allowing yourself to be free from all influence, independent from anybody, from anywhere, even from your own experience.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 224 • discuss »
So we’re not courageous to earn the approval of the superego—our own or anybody else’s. That won’t affect our real sense of value. We’re courageous because we know the value of knowing and living according to the truth. Acting courageously often is scary and painful. But by allowing that fear, that pain, something happens in us. There is a transformation that makes us feel satisfied, even though we might have had a difficult time. As you can see, this satisfaction is personal. It’s not something between you and other people; it’s between you and you. Between you and your own integrity. Between you and your own sense of truth. Loving the truth for its own sake means preferring to be sincere with yourself, preferring to be honest with yourself. Loving the truth means not lying to yourself, not being hypocritical. It means having the courage to penetrate your experience. It means having the courage to see your deficiencies and fears, your lies and delusions. The love of truth for its own sake can be expressed even with mundane issues. Every minute, we interact. Every minute, we conduct ourselves in some way. And we can notice whether the love of truth is present in these moments. Now, it’s also true that we are ignorant. We often don’t know what’s happening or what’s driving us or how to find out the truth. The teaching provides the means for paying attention and seeing what’s real. But we’re the ones who need to do it. We’re the ones who need to practice, to grapple with our life.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 236 • discuss »
Living according to the truth requires courage, boldness, and a willingness to sacrifice. We’re sacrificing what is false in us. In the beginning, it will appear as if we were sacrificing our security, safety, and comfort, sacrificing the possibilities of pleasure and love. But these seem small sacrifices once we have a taste of what it’s like to be real, once we have a taste of the satisfaction and freedom of really living as a human being. Our usual ego perspective is that satisfaction comes from having what we believe we should have. In my experience, it doesn’t work that way. I could have the whole world, but if I am not the person I can be, it doesn’t mean anything. Comfort or pleasure, a home, a mate, work: these are external ornaments for a real human being. They are not life itself, not the stuff of life. They are the husk of life, the package, at best the manifest expression of life. The real substance of life is who and what we are. We tend to get lost in the container, in the packaging, in the things our eyes can see. We forget that if we live from that perspective, we are bound to be husks or shells ourselves. We are imprisoned in a fake world. When we take the packaging to be what is real, we’re going to be like the packaging. If we want our life to be real, to have true substance, we have to be a human being of substance. We have to put ourselves on the line. We have to live with courage, boldness, integrity, and self-respect. These qualities depend on our being honest and sincere.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 231 • discuss »
To stay with your experience without manipulating it means you have to be objective about what’s here. Objectivity doesn’t mean being cold. Objectivity means not laying your trips on what’s actually here. True objectivity does not mean that you are unfeeling but that you are full of love for the truth. To be objective means that you don’t burden what’s actually here with your preconceptions and ideas from the past. You simply let it be as it is. In examining your weakness, you see that you have to eliminate your associations, reactions, and beliefs about it. You have to find out what this weakness is right now. If you really go about it that way, the hole of weakness emerges, which is the opening for the aspect of strength. And suddenly strength arises and you are this raging fire. You have the courage and excitement, the openness and curiosity, to go on finding out who you are and what the world is.
Diamond Heart Book V, p. 210 • discuss »